Entrepreneurs

First Jeff Bezos, now Steve Jobs' widow: Tech billionaires are making media power plays

Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and Chair, Emerson Collective, and widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, April 29, 2013.
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Laurene Powell Jobs, Founder and Chair, Emerson Collective, and widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, speaks at the annual Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, U.S., on Monday, April 29, 2013.

There is a new boss in town for The Atlantic. The Emerson Collective, a non-profit run by Laurene Powell Jobs, widow of Apple founder Steve Jobs, purchased the 160-year-old magazine.

"What I loved about Laurene from the first is that her confidence was forged on a different coast," says David Bradley, the chairman and owner of Atlantic Media, via a memo, according to The Atlantic. "If anything, her ambition is greater than my own."

Powell-Jobs is not the first West Coast tech billionaire to get involved with East Coast media. Jeff Bezos, who had a short stint as the world's richest person Thursday, purchased the Washington Post in 2013 for $250 million through his company Nash Holdings LLC.

"I bought [the Post] because it's important," explains Bezos during an interview with Charlie Rose.

At the time of the buyout, Bezos also emphasized his commitment to journalism, saying "the Post's values will not change. Our duty to readers will continue to be the heart of the Post."

According to The New York Times, the newspaper has seen success since the new ownership.

"By all visible measures, including the vital but hard-to-measure buzz factor, the resurrection of The Post, both editorially and financially, in less than four years has been little short of astonishing," according to the Times.

Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon
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Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon

The Atlantic announced on Friday that Emerson Collective purchased a majority stake in the publication. Bradley still owns a minority stake and is continuing his role for now.

However, the memo from Bradley explains that, "Emerson Collective will most likely assume full ownership of The Atlantic within five years," according to the site.

Emerson Collective has invested in media before, including the Marshall Project, ProPublica and digital publication Axios. Axios itself reported on the sale, and wrote that "David Bradley and Powell Jobs' mutual investments in Axios may have led to the agreement."

Powell Jobs has a net worth of over $20 billion, according to Forbes.

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